If you've strolled down a Southern California pier, you’ve probably seen the warning sign: “No Coma White Croaker” (Don’t Eat White Croaker”). The reason for the warning? The effects of widespread DDT and PCB contamination in our local waters from the 1940s-1980s that’s worked its way up the food chain.
The kinds of health problems that have been linked to DDT and PCBs include effects on the nervous, immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems, infant development, and cancer.
To spread the alert of this danger, members of our Pier Angler Outreach Program have educated nearly 100,000 anglers over the past eight years on the health risks of eating certain fish they’ve caught on their lines, most notably, white croaker, black croaker, barred sand bass, topsmelt and barracuda.
In addition, members of our team, employing languages from Spanish to Tagolog to English, suggest cooking methods if the anglers choose to eat any of their contaminated catch.
Our EPA-award winning efforts span eight different piers: Santa Monica, Venice, Hermosa, Redondo, Pier J, Rainbow Harbor, Belmont and Seal Beach.